Dating Abroad: 12 Topics for Starting a Conversation
Love is everywhere—even in foreign places. Even if you have no plans of finding romance abroad, once you spark a connection with someone, it is easy to let yourself just enjoy the experience. That said, it is already nerve-wracking to start conversations with strangers; what more when they are so different in culture, experience, and language as you.
Finding common ground is not that hard, though. There are plenty of things that tie us all together, and you can find these similarities through pleasant conversations. Kick-start your foreign romance with some of these talk topics!
1. Local Greetings
Saying hello is the natural way of starting a conversation. But it does not have to start and end there. You can extend the subject by inviting your date to greet you as they would in their local language. This lets you know a little bit of where they come from, and it can even give an insight into their values. It is also a cool lesson on culture since there are several ways people greet each other, such as bowing or kissing each other on the cheeks.
2. Getting To Right Here, Right Now
Break the ice by asking what led you to where you are now. This lets you talk about where you come from and why you are in this foreign country right now. Likewise, your date can also tell you a little bit about their background, which may be especially interesting if he or she is not a local, as well. As a fun bonus, you can also ask each other about the more present version of this question. Why are you right here, right now? If you are gutsy, you can even take it up a notch and ask, “What motivated you to start talking to me here?”
3. How Was Your Day?
This question seems like a hard-stop like there is little to go anywhere with it. But “How was your day?” is a loaded question. Aside from showing your date that you are interested in what happens to them, it is a way for you to visualize how they go through a typical day; and, with that, what they enjoy, what causes them distress, and the like. There are plenty of opportunities to deepen a conversation with this simple question.
4. Work-Related Things
People often have plenty to say about their jobs, especially if they are passionate about it. Here, both you and your date can discuss what you do and how you landed in your occupations. You can also converse about what it is like in your job in the day-to-day. It is important to practice caution when approaching this topic because this is a sensitive topic for some people.
Landing on a date means you have already broken the language barrier with your partner. You understand each other enough in one language to carry on a conversation. But it would be nice to talk about other languages each of you know. (What do they know aside from English?) You can even teach each other a few words!
6. Personality Stereotypes
In the modern world of dating, getting to know each other often includes learning about each other’s astrological signs, Myers-Briggs personality type, and the like. It is not something everybody knows, but it is good to have yours in handy if it is a topic that your date might be interested in. These stereotypes, although not completely accurate, is a cool gauge of someone’s personality.
7. Likes and Dislikes
Talking about each other’s preferences is an easy way to get a conversation going. This general subject can cover many things, from simple topics like favorite color, food, and the like, or more complex ones such as each other’s perspective on current events. Again, if you find yourself in a tense topic, tread carefully.
Here is another fun topic you can talk about with your date. Ask him or her, “If you were my tourist guide, where would you take me?” It is a nice way to get inspiration for your travel plans, but it can also give you ideas for the next date! This question does not have to solely focus on places. You can also ask about recommended food or experiences.
9. Tourist Tips
Related to recommendations, you can also get some tourist tips from your date. This gives them the floor to talk more, and it might motivate them to continue the conversation since it is an opportunity to help you. At the same time, you can get some real tips from a local!
10. Curiosities About Each Other’s Culture
Once you know a little bit more about your partner, you can begin diving into deeper topics. Assuming you have already gone through some basics about each other’s cultures, you can now satisfy more of your curiosities. Ask about their beliefs, what they do differently because of their culture, etc. Be open and prepared to answer similar questions, and if you can sense that they are tiptoeing on the topic, feel free to offer a prompt to get them to loosen up.
The past can bring up a whole load of conversation points that you and your date can discuss. As a rule of thumb, it is always good to stay on the positive side of things. For example, you can ask about their best travel memories or their proudest accomplishments. You can also talk about each other’s past; it is always fun to hear one’s childhood stories.
12. The Future
The best thing about conversations that involve the future is that it stirs up excitement most of the time. Talk about your goals and dreams, and encourage your date to open up about theirs. You can also touch on your plans on how to achieve them, no matter how vague. This can also help you picture what it would be like if you were to take your relationship to another level.
It is always good to practice your conversation skills by talking to other people. LingualBox can help you learn how to effectively (and charismatically!) carry a conversation. Our tutors use tools that mimic real-life situations so you can easily and naturally transition with your new skills into the real world. Book one of our classes today!